I had very little to do with Group 5’s brilliant presentation, since I was out of town for the weekend, but I did set up the Powerpoint slides.
For context, here are the project descriptions, written by Jorge:
My Lung Buddy
My Lung Buddy is an empathic breathing guide that senses your breathing rate and matches it so that you’re both breathing together. Slowly, My Lung Buddy adjusts its rate to a predetermined pace in order to help you attain the sense of calm and well-being that comes with breathing deeply in a measured way. My Lung Buddy doesn’t force you to breathe with it. It simply reminds you that breathing is important. And that you don’t have to do it alone.
The ITPod is an on-floor oasis that offers students short escapes from the blinking, buzzing and beeping that fill a typical ITP day. It’s a simple structure, airy enough to ward off claustrophobia while still allowing for separation and privacy. A comfortable hanging chair dangles inside an enclosed cylinder of cloth, which glows with warm, diffused light. A floor compartment lets you tuck your stuff out of sight and browse picture books from a community library. Noise-canceling headphones offer four settings: (1) silence, aided by the headphones’ noise-canceling properties; (2) white noise to help drown out thoughts and distractions; (3) the sound of falling water or other natural sounds; and (4) a guided breathing session. Each program is twenty minutes long and fades in and out along with the light, giving the user enough time to recharge.
Lunch Date is an opt-out service that helps ITP-ers meet and share meals with fellow students and faculty with whom they may not otherwise cross paths. An email directs students to a simple form that asks for two times when you’d generally be available for a 40-minute lunch, and the number, between zero and four, of Lunch Dates you’d like to have per month. The program compares everyone’s schedule, sorts people into anonymous pairs, and sends out text messages each morning: Reply yes if you’d like a lunch date today, and no if you’re too busy. A negative reply sends the computer back into the pool of candidates until a match is found, and another text message alerts each lunch date to meet at the elevators fifteen minutes before the time is set. By automating the social selection, Lunch Date eliminates the awkwardness and inertia which might keep students from getting to know someone they’ve never met. And because it’s an opt-out program, it nudges those who aren’t already ultra social to engage in an easy, commitment-free way. After all, it’s just 40 minutes. And then it’s back to class.
LeisurelyMail is a simple plug-in designed to relieve the tense breathlessness with which we typically attack our in-boxes. When installed, it changes the visual effect of opening an email message. Instead of a sharp pop-up or a boring drop-down pane, the email window opens slowly, unfolding over a full second of time. Every few messages, an extra momentary pause is built in, as the window shows an image of nature, or a simple reminder to breathe, before revealing the contents of the email. Because sometimes you just want to say screw it and burn through your work, you can revert your email to its normal function by holding down the option key as you click.
Based on a theory of how we block out unnecessary inputs . . .